City Leaders Dispute Motive Of TPD Internal Investigation
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa's Police chief is striking back after a city councilor accused the department of targeting her husband in an internal investigation.
The investigation stems from a domestic assault that happened to Tulsa County District Judge Sharon Holmes in her home more than a week ago.
This started when police say Judge Sharon Holmes was found in a pool of blood in her home, with a knife wound to her leg and a broken ankle. Police say her daughter told them they'd been arguing when the daughter went into another room and came back and found the knife in her mother's leg.
An officer says Sergeant Marcus Harper had them file the incident as an “accidental injury." One week later, a booking report says Judge Holmes identified her daughter, Adrienne Smith, as her attacker.
Smith was booked for domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The report says during an argument, Smith stabbed her mother in the leg and the judge could not remember how her ankle got broken.
Related Story: Tulsa County Judge Stabbed By Daughter, Police Say
Police confirm there is an internal investigation related to the way the initial report was filed.
Sergeant Harper's wife, city councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper, posted on Facebook her husband is being targeted because he's the President of the Black Officer's Coalition and supports the mayor's plan for an independent office to monitor the police department and because she and the Fraternal Order of Police have clashed in the past.
By now, I am sure many of you have heard the news regarding my husband Sgt. Marcus Harper. My husband, the President of The Black Officers Coalition and who has been with the Tulsa Police Department for 24 years. Marcus has always been respected by his colleagues and respected in this community. We all know he has been vocal on improving the relationships between law enforcement and the community.
Marcus has spoken in support of the Mayor’s decision to implement the OIM (Office of Independent Monitoring), he spoke out about the states position on open carry and how it would affect the black community, he also, stood by my side when the FOP came against me. If that isn’t enough, he is also married to me. The only black City Councilor on Tulsa’s City Council who is challenging this system and has made a lot of people upset, especially law enforcement.
It is no surprise that my husband is being targeted for challenging and pushing for a better Tulsa. Unfortunately, everyone isn’t ready for change and pushing for the kind of change that we need regarding law enforcement in Tulsa, makes a lot of people uncomfortable. However, when you do, it ends in retribution. Historically, whenever black people challenge the system of white supremacy retribution is a given.
I want to thank all those who have reached out to me and my husband during this time. Throughout our 25 years of marriage, I have never seen Marcus so distraught by the attempt of others to attack his work ethic and character. We can definitely use your prayers and positive thoughts. I am not asking that my community take pity on my family, when so many other families in my community have dealt with the pushback, retaliation of law enforcement. It is a real thing in my community and other communities. There are also families who are dealing with far more worse situations. We are confident that in the end, truth is powerful and it will prevail. I want my community to know that WE will never stop fighting for our community.
Ella Baker once said, “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”
Vanessa Hall Harper
District 1 City Councilor
Police chief Chuck Jordan's statement that says in part, "this case has nothing to do with the FOP" and says, "Hall-Harper's unfounded accusations have no basis in fact and will not deter TPD from investigating the facts of the incident."
Statement from Tulsa Police Chief Jordan
I have listened to the accusations of Councilor Hall-Harper over the past couple of days with great interest. It would seem, because she feels that some members of the Fraternal Order of Police have an opinion regarding her husband, that the Tulsa Police Department is targeting him.
First, the Fraternal Order of Police does not decide who or what the Tulsa Police Department will investigate. Those decisions are solely made by the Tulsa Police Department Command Staff.
Second, there have been perceived issues in the handling of the crime scene and subsequent report in the assault on Judge Holmes. These issues were NOT brought forward by the Fraternal Order of Police.
Lastly, the allegation that the Tulsa Police Department was complaining that the Shannon Kepler trial was heard by an African-American judge couldn’t be further from the truth. The Tulsa Police Department provided a vigorous investigation and assisted in the prosecution of that case. I would invite anyone to provide evidence of any statement or action that would indicate our dissatisfaction with Judge Holmes. She is a highly respected jurist who has a reputation for fairness.
These unfounded accusations have no basis in fact and will not deter the Tulsa Police Department from investigating the facts concerning the assault on Judge Holmes and the subsequent investigation.
The Judge and our community deserve no less.
The FOP also issued a statement saying the FOP works to make sure all its members are treated fairly.